Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Best of Both Worlds - Wedding and Fishing!

Well, what a great summer this one turned out to be! Our oldest son, Brian got married Aug. 10th. in Sheridan, Wyoming. Christie is a wonderful gal and they make a fantastic couple. It was a long 8 months waiting for the wedding and now that it is all over I wonder how quickly the time did go by. I had four weeks out in Wyo. and can't believe I am back home now. 

Along with the wedding preparations Rob and I did manage to get some fishing in. We haven't had both our boys together in many years so the one late morning when we could all get out and fish was extra special. That day will remain extra special for Rob; being out with both his boys.

Sam, Christie, Brian, me and Rob
Aug. 10, 2013

Christie asked me if it was possible for me to tie some boutonnieres for the wedding party. So after getting some help and looking at salmon fly patterns I got to work. Her wedding colors were silver and blue so my goal was to work those into the flies while trying to keep each one unique. Once I finished them I carefully wrapped each one in tissue paper hoping she would not be disappointed but at the same time leaving myself plenty of time just in case she wanted me to re-do any of them. I quickly got word from Brian and Christie that the flies were just perfect! 

So along with the wedding was a little bit of fishing. 

I used Brian's pickup and would drive to Ranchester, Wy. to fish Tongue Canyon. It was a brief ride of 25 miles and the view of wide open spaces was a sight to see. I will admit that I was a bit nervous heading out and fishing alone but.......

This was a spot that I had loads of fun at. I used Brian's short 3wt. rod for this river. There wasn't enough room for two handed casting so I was back to single hand and after a bit of a rough start it all worked out. The first fish turned out to be a 12" whitefish and after that it was all bows on that first day. The pool pictured above will be fondly remembered for the 14" bow that came rocketing out like a surface to air missile. He tailed danced across the water not once but twice and all I did was laugh. Seems like a very silly response but what a sight that was to see. At one point I took a break and shared the pool with an older gentleman who wanted to let his lab chase sticks and swim. Why not, right? So I got out and talked to Keith for what turned out to be an hour or so. He was pretty cool to talk to and he asked me what brought me to Wyoming. I told him that my son was getting married and I came out from Connecticut for the party. He laughed and said, "Seems like you have the best of both worlds; a wedding and fishing." How right he was! 

The next day when I met another lady fly fisherman. She told me her husband had a pistol and wanted to know if I had one too. I asked her why he needed a pistol. Her response was, "Well, for the bear, moose and cats that hang out in this canyon."
Brian didn't tell me anything about cats. And I am pretty sure she didn't mean your typical domestic cat.

He told me to be cautious for rattle snakes but not cats. 

When I got home that day I told him what she said and he laughed and shook his head. "Of course they are up there. You just gotta watch out for them." 

The other river I explored was the N. Tongue up in the Bighorn Mtns. Rob and I fished this twice.

We did run into a moose and her calf this day. She was hanging around in the willows close to the river. We were sure to make a long walk around her to avoid pissing her off.

The first trip there we ran into some guys from Minnesota. They had been fishing for a couple of hours and hadn't "caught shit" as one of them said. Seems someone told them to use streamers on this part of the river and that the big ol' double bunnies would do the trick. He asked me if I had any and I told him yes but I had already tied on my fly of choice - purple and starling #12 wet fly. It worked wonders down in the canyon and well, why change a fly that had a good track record? So off we head, Rob and I going farther down river from these guys just to give them some room. As I started to drift my fly down a seam I happened to look up and saw one of the Minnesota guys watching. 

I hate that. I just get too dang nervous when someone does that.

But.....no sooner had I made a second short cast when
I had my first cutthroat on.

Streamers. Sure.
When we got home we told Brian what they said to use. He laughed and told us that quite often the locals will tell out-of-staters to use stupid stuff like streamers just to goof on them. I never did put on a streamer. Both trips up there the wet fly worked like a charm with one fish after another hitting it hard.

The second trip up there resulted in a rather unique way of fishing. Brian and Christie had headed off on their honeymoon and took the rods we had been using. So we borrowed a couple of different rods. We did have one reel that matched but the other reel was the one that I used on my Mystic 4wt. with the Ambush Triangle taper that line kept sinking. (I brought this reel out to use while teaching Brian how to two hand cast) Since the water was pretty skinny it didn't take too long for the fly to get caught up in the rocks. So I took off the Ambush line and scratched my head. 
What to do.
What to do.

There is a saying, "Creativity is the mother of invention."
So I went to work. 

I pulled out one of the leaders I normally use for Scandi casting. It has a 30# butt section and gradually tapers to 6x. The leader was about 16' long and my thinking was to attach it to the running line and see what happens. I loaded it up and with some quick steeple casts it worked pretty darn good. So good that the fish in the above picture was fooled and spanked that fly. 
Not bad. 

Not bad at all for a wedding with some fishing!

Tongue Canyon

Brian learning how to two hand cast.

Now THAT is a thunder cloud.

Here's hoping that everyone else had as good a summer as I did and as I get ready to begin another school year I will have plenty of happy memories to get me through.